When you think of innovative universities - the ones that create new technology or make ground-breaking discoveries - you probably think of Duke, Northwestern, or Ivy League schools like Yale and Harvard. But would you believe the University of South Florida topped all of those schools in terms of the number of patents awarded in 2012?
USF was the top Florida university with 79 patents awarded, good for 15th in the world, tied with Johns Hopkins University. The ranking, by the National Academy of Inventors and the Intellectual Property Owners Association, is based on data from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
That's down slightly from 2011, when USF was 9th among universities in IPOA's rankings with 83 patents.
Four other Florida schools made the top 100 this year: USF's High Tech Corridor neighbor, the University of Central Florida, came in 21st with 72 patents, edging out the University of Florida, which tied two other schools, including Northwestern, at 22nd with 70 patents. Florida State tied with three other schools at 55th (32 patents) and Miami came in 92nd (21 patents).
The top three schools were the University of California with 357 patents, MIT with 216 and Stanford with 182.
"University inventors are the discoverers and creators of new solutions to existing problems, and, as such, are key contributors to the advancement of technology," said Paul R. Sanberg, president of the National Academy of Inventors and USF senior vice president for Research & Innovation. “Protection of this intellectual property, through the patenting process, underpins the creation of new industries and employment."
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The National Academy of Inventors, which is based on USF's Tampa campus, also recently named its 2013 NAI Fellows. The 143 Fellows represent 94 universities and governmental and non-profit research institutes, collectively hold more than 5,600 U.S. patents, and include nine Nobel Laureates.
Three members of the USF Chapter of the NAI are among the new fellows:
Stephen B. Liggett, M.D., is professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Pharmacology & Physiology and vice dean for Research in the Morsani College of Medicine at the University of South Florida. He is a current member of the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors and holds 16 U.S. patents.
Clifford M Gross, Ph.D., is Chief Executive Officer of TekCapital Ltd. He is a former USF faculty member who served as research professor and director of the Center for Product Ergonomics in the College of Public Health. He is a current affiliate member of the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors and holds 19 U.S. patents.
James J. Wynne, Ph.D., is program manager at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. He is an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and a current affiliate member of the USF Chapter of the National Academy of Inventors. He holds 11 issued U.S. patents.